Friday, November 22, 2013

Season of Drought

With it being the season of thanksgiving... I truly wanted to write something upbeat, hopeful and filled with gratitude.  After all... I have a laundry list of all the things I'm thankful for.
Yet I also can't deny that this past month's worth of drama has pushed and stretched my heart to places I never knew existed.  

And then today pushed me over the edge...

I was on my way home when Sol called to share something that our eldest son had been hiding... 
There was dead silence over the phone.
Suddenly, I felt lost.  
Who was this child?  What happened to him?  I felt deceived into believing he was some thing that he wasn't.... Loyal, respectful and content with his new family and second chance at life. Where did I go wrong?  Did I fail him? How had I failed him?  
But.... It was his choice. Again? Why? Why did he.....? 

I drove in our driveway with my heart pounding with anger, bitterness and sadness.  Took some deep breaths and dragged my feet through the front door.  Sol's facial expression was enough for me to understand his heart was as broken as mine. 
We took a few minutes to calm down and sat down with our son. 
He stared at us blankly. I couldn't look at him. I was ashamed for him. Sol spared me the awkwardness by saying a quick word of prayer. 
I set my timer...for fear that I wouldn't stop talking.
We spoke with a loving, tender but firm tone.... yet our words bounced right off him. 
How I wished he could have seen the pain, the love and the hurt in our eyes and grasp it through our words.
But there was nothing.
Our 14 year old son had been trained all his life to believe a lie and live a lie.  He was never told and taught the truth.  He was never loved by a mom and a dad who devoted themselves to persistently guide him in the right direction and draw appropriate boundaries to provide him security and protection.

Our conversation ended....
No remorse. No tears. Just a blank stare.
My emotions stretched from one extreme to another...
I wanted to forgive him and move on quickly... forgetting all that had happened.... Just like I wanted to do all the other past times. 
But that would be another lie and I was too angry, sad and disheartened. He needed to understand there were consequences for his irresponsible choices.

All heart has been in turmoil. 

Unfortunately all 4 of our children learned to hustle on the streets of Ghana. They were taught to beg and steal with an incredible charm that strangers cannot resist. Society taught them that lying was courageous and telling the truth was showing weakness.  The nudge of guilt from "making a bad choice" was stripped away from our kids at a very young age. 

Our hope is that we can somehow reteach our children proper values and build a character of integrity. Unfortunately with our eldest son, we only have 3.5 years left before his decisions in life become his full responsibility. 
Truthfully, I.Am.Weary.  
For the past couple of months, I have been in a season of drought.
My heart is parched.
I have barely an ounce of kindness and patience left to bear the face of one more lie or devious act.

Hope hasn't died and I know where my Source of Strength comes from... 
I keep convincing myself  "No Chris... you haven't failed."
Every morning, my kids wake up to me (the same petite Asian mama) with breakfast waiting for them, homework corrected, school lunches packed. Perhaps there were moments where they might have "wished" me away.... 
But for the past 15 months of their life.... this weary mama has consistently tried to love them and refuses to stop loving them.
Our kids make choices that are beyond our control. Sometimes I wish I just didn't know. But... I still have to be proud that our son finally told the truth. Again.

Thankfully with the beauty of a drought season comes rain. 
Although I wish I knew when my rainy season is.... I guess I'm okay with waiting and simply hanging in there. Perhaps, it will slow me down enough to regain perspective in order to keep persevering. 

" Successful mothers are not the ones who have never struggled. 
They are the ones who never give up, despite the struggles."  
-Sharon Jaynes


  1. Your strength is an encouragement and example to all of us. You are in my prayers.

  2. *HUG* I'm there with you.

    Sometimes the only thing that gets me from one day to the next is to play a song in my head. The ones that have been there lately include the line "got a front-row seat to the longest wait" (doesn't it feel like we might be waiting forever to see things get better? like, on-the-other-side-of-this-life long?) and "hope is what we crave, and that will never change".

    It all looks soooooo different from what we pictured, doesn't it? I thought that if I did everything "right", like the pre-adoption training suggested, that it would be getting "better" a lot faster than it is now - but like you said, I then have a day that comes out of the blue and yanks that rug right out from under. I feel like I need one of those workplace signs that counts up "days without an incident". *smile*

    I've read a lot of blogs and articles today (and the comments that follow) - and it was startling and comforting to read in so many places that our kids may only come to view us as a benevolent aunt or mentor. It seems counter-intuitive, but to let go of the "we HAVE to make attachment happen!" expectation has been really helpful over the past few weeks.

    *HUGS* and more *HUGS* for you. One foot in front of the other - I'm right next to you, and Someone even better is in the middle, helping us limp along the road. <3

  3. I really get this. Kids when scared and shamed, literally cannot be touched by our words, they do bounce right off. Their habits, and the lies they believe about themselves, and the fear they feel dictate everything in their brains. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Christine, you are doing great. Keep up the great work and strength in the Lord. Just like every day, you wake up and have breakfast made and lunches packed and things done for them that they don't even aknowledge. Every day we wake up and God has us breathing, day ordained and things taken care of for us we sometimes don't even acknowledge. You are giving everything to your children that they need in order to make good choices and succeed. Just like God has provided for us, every day everything we need in order to make good choices and succeed. I fall and fail much less than I used to. My RAD daughter falls and fails far less than she used to as well. It is baby steps and I have learned it is not about me at all. It is not about me wanting a beautiful relationship with my daughter. Or what I get out of it all. It is all about doing what God has called me to do no matter how hard. God has called us to give them the same chance He has given us. He knew if anyone could have done this, you and your husbands were the ones....I gave Him my life to do this no matter what. I know it is hard. Beyond hard. But what Jesus went thru for us was beyond hard as well. I have to give grace when I am out of grace because God says so. We have hurt God over and over and yet His mercy is new every morning. I have to choose to give my daughter a new day every day no matter what happened the day before when it was delt with. They will look back and see all you did. They will one day remember and appreciate you. And so many people see you now. And so does God. Keep up the good work. One day you will collapse into Jesus arms and He will say "well done thou good and faithful servant". Hugs and blessings.

  5. My family has been praying for you ever since I received a call from my mom the day she heard about what was going on on the day you started your trip home from Ghana. My mom works with street kids there and has lived their for 7 years. Don't give in to those tough days as each day will build blocks that one day will be stronger than the ones he brought home from Ghana and then his new foundation will carry him so far in life. I am so thankful for families like yours that give all the street kids in Ghana hope for their future and the glimpse of kids who can make it.

  6. Praying for the healing in the heart mind body and soul of your precious children. God bless you all

  7. Christine and Sol. All I can say after reading your blog this morning is "THANK YOU!" I don't know where to begin to list all the thinks I want to thank you for. My daughter Kelly wrote a comment too. I live in Ghana and work with street children in James Town. You describe so aptly the way these kids have been taught. Especially I pray for you with your oldest. We are not an orphanage but get these kids into school and support them emotionally, physically, etc. Yes, it is a life long job. Some we may never see a change or an impact. But I have to believe God honors our efforts. That when we do it unto the least of these, we are doing it to Jesus Christ. Not for Christ but to Christ. Keep up the Godly impact you are doing. Elaine

  8. Sigh. After a particularly bad day a week ago, I actually told my son almost word for word that my own fear was that we had so little time. I panic sometimes about it. Everything I said that day bounced off. Except those words. 2 days ago we were riding in the car and he was deep in thought. "Mom" he said, "do I HAVE to get a house by myself when I'm 18?" There was such FEAR in his voice. Then it hit me. "No" I said, "You can stay with us until you feel ok being an adult on your own." He was SO relieved.

    Our kids have been through way too much. Way too much. Some days I feel desperate. Like you, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that God IS in control and that we truly HAVE time.


  9. I have no words of understanding, only my heart aching for you. I have no words of comfort, only my prayers for your family. You guys haven't left my mind. I think of you often and pray for you consistently. I am thankful for your transparency, God is glorified.

  10. I have five kids, three adopted, and the latest is from Ghana, older and deaf. The last two years have been the hardest of my life. It's good to know there are a few Moms out there that can understand. Blessings to you and your family!

  11. We continue to pray and think about your family.

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  13. You know I can honestly relate. My husband and I are raising a child who was raised to hustle, charm and have people throw things at him. Now he is in a home where he has to work hard for what he has. Sometimes, I think he looks at us as people who he wants to get away from as well. Prayerfully, we have another year to help him. I will pray for you. God knows you are in our hearts.